West: Ron Paul isn’t the “kind of guy you need” in the White House

posted at 12:45 pm on August 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Mi amigo bloguero, Javier Manjarres at the Shark Tank, posted this clip of Rep. Allen West over the weekend, in which West addresses the foreign-policy problems of the current administration — and of one Republican candidate as well. West calls Barack Obama “Sir Neville Chamberlain … on steroids,” calmly criticizing Obama for his lack of respect for our friends and his inability or unwillingness to leverage American strength. Iran continues to conduct a proxy war against American troops in Iraq, and the Saudis have become disgusted with this administration ever since it threw Hosni Mubarak under the bus while continuing to wheedle Bashar Assad.

But West saves his most passionate criticism for Ron Paul, whose view on Iran is so irrational that West considers it disqualifying (via Katie Pavlich):

That’s not the kind of guy you need to be sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

West mentions this in the beginning of the clip, but it’s worth more thought. There were a few reasons why we lived with the Soviets having nuclear weapons, chief among them that we had no choice in the matter. The MAD strategy (Mutually Assured Destruction) wasn’t a policy of choice, but of lack of choice. If we had an opportunity to keep the Soviets and everyone else from developing nuclear weapons, we would have done so, but that was a choice taken from us by an effective spy network that stole the secrets and handed them to the Stalin regime — although they eventually would have figured it out for themselves anyway.

MAD only worked with the Soviets (and with China) because leaders in both countries were rational actors.  That is, their strategic aims had nothing to do with getting destroyed, but in acquisition and control.  They didn’t launch a war against us, at least not directly, because they knew we would have destroyed them — and the same is true for us as well.

Iran is a non-rational actor, which is not necessarily the same as an irrational actor.  The mullahs’ strategic goals are metaphysical; they want their Messiah to arrive and establish a global Islamic rule.  According to their view of Islam, that will come at the end of a great conflagration, and there isn’t a much better way to start one of those than by lobbing nukes at Israel, the US, or both.  If they get a nuke, they will certainly use it, because that is a rational tactic for their non-rational strategy.  That is the reason that Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon is most certainly a very big deal, and if the mullahs remain in charge for much longer, they will have one to put on their rockets and launch.

Anyone who doesn’t understand the difference between Iran and the Soviet Union in nuclear issues doesn’t belong in the White House.  That’s true of Ron Paul, and it’s equally true of Barack Obama.

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If Iran wants nukes they are going to get them. There is no stopping them if they are determined. We didn’t stop Pakistan or India. We won’t stop Iran. Also, I would like to know if everyone who is criticizing Ron Paul on this would be willing to full scale attack Iran and invade the country? That is what you are advocating, as its the ONLY way they aren’t going to get the weapon. Full scale invasion and then nation building. Yea, that will help the image of America int he middle east.

thphilli on August 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Exactly. I’d also like to know what all the arm-chair generals would do to stop Iran from getting nukes. I’m sure many here are in the “Turn the region into glass” camp and all then we will all sing kumbaya.

The arrogance of everyone’s pretense to somehow “know” what Iran is going to do is astounding.

j_galt on August 15, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Tell me again why we can’t have West for president?

Browncoatone on August 15, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Ron Paul says we have no business doing it at all, and he is correct.

woodNfish on August 15, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Wow. Gotta be the stupidest opinion ever. Both Paul’s and yours.

Do you deny the existence of evil in the world? If so, you you agree with the statement that “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”? If not, what do you believe WILL stop evil?

I’ve always had to scratch my head at people who insist that the US shouldn’t be the world’s policeman. Really? If not us, then who would you nominate for the role? The current members of the UN Human Rights Council? If that’s who you believe are and should be the arbiters of moral behavior, you’re as deluded as Ron Paul Obama is.

Somebody needs to keep the bullies – like Iran, China, etc – from beating up on people. But I guess if you saw one kid beating up on another in a playground, you’d just watch, since they aren’t bothering YOU at all.

Or is it just that you don’t believe that Western civilization in general – and America in particular – has something special to offer? Possibly you think that Obama and his liberal cronies are right that America is maybe as good as some countries, and a lot worse than most.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Libertarians like Ron Paul aren’t Republicans – they’re simply liberals with a budget.

psrch on August 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM

woodNfish on August 15, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Another sad example of some isolationist Paul-bot spouting the Paul-Party line that the US should not meddle in any other country’s business, while blindly and naively believing that no other country attempts to do the very same thing. Or that it’s wrong for the US because we can meddle on a greater scale than other countries. Right.

Call me a simpleton if you want to, but the US pretty much seeks to achieve good in the world while countries such as Iran seek to do evil. (Hey gals! Who is up for some Sharia Law!)

BigAlSouth on August 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM

psrch on August 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Can you not see the irony of your utopian view? Many people here bash RP and claim he has a utopina view, all while holding a utopian view that the USA can somehow conquer evil in the world.

The American people are exceptional, but the average American has no desire to police the world, nor do average Americans have the financial ability or desire to police the world.

As a Christian with libertarian leanings, I do know a few things without a doubt. Such as:

1. Stealing people’s money is wrong
2. Stealing people’s money to do charitable things is wrong
3. Stealing people’s money to pay their children to fight and die in foreign wars is wrong.

Now, if average American people had to personally write a check to fund all this nonsense, then we’d see real quick what the people were willing to do and for whom they would do it.

When this nation was founded, the people here opened their arms to welcome anyone who wanted to come. But, those people did not pledge to fight all tyrants, everywhere, forevermore.

Some other things I know include:

3. The poor will always be with us.
4. Evil will be with us until Jesus Christ Himself returns.

There will be no final victory for Good, until God Almighty decides it is time for such. Of course, that doesn’t mean you let evil men reign, but that also doesn’t mean you pour your treasure and your children into fighting all evil men everywhere.

God tells us how we should live, who we should help, and how we should raise our children.

Today, too many Christians have forsaken God and turned to worship the state, and the military, and war, war, war. It’s very sad. It’s almost seems like many Christians today have not actually read the Bible.

j_galt on August 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I’m no Ron Paul fan, but who was it that voted to give the radical in chief 2.4 trillion dollars to spend on his agenda. Our military is being dismantled because of the debt.

wheelgun on August 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM

j_galt on August 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I agree with a lot of your points

As a Christian with libertarian leanings, I do know a few things without a doubt. Such as:

1. Stealing people’s money is wrong
2. Stealing people’s money to do charitable things is wrong

I don’t see point 3 the same:

3. Stealing people’s money to pay their children to fight and die in foreign wars is wrong

I am not against foreign wars. My Dad didn’t fight in WWII to get a paycheck.

However, due to the cowardice of Congress, we now have undeclared wars. It is becoming unclear why any particular undeclared war is being fought. Each ideologue choses their own reason. Obama seems to be of the LBJ school, not wanting to be called a loser. Is that a good reason to kill a young man?

We now have Presidents’ wars, and there is no shared sacrifice beyond taxation. Children are not kept informed of the daily situation in the war, there are no savings bonds drives at school or theaters. Many who approve of the wars of their preferred President would never send their own offspring to have legs blown off. And Presidents now play golf while men make their way through mine fields, for what?

In this we are becoming Rome, who put citizens on the dole, used slaves to labor, and hired mercenaries to fight in far lands.

Our soldiers are volunteers, not mercenaries, but they are being treated like employees, not patriots, or more than soldiers’ families would be welcoming them home.

entagor on August 15, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Ron Paul should come with a disclaimer. Anyone who thinks we did wrong by killing Bin Laden is a complete moron.

Boxy_Brown on August 15, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Pardon me folks I just awoke from my coma. When are we going to attack Iraq before they nuke us? And why is West calling Iraq “Iran”?

LevStrauss on August 15, 2011 at 7:03 PM

j_galt on August 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I actually don’t see a “utopia” but I do feel that good people should step up and be counted for righteousness. Ley me give you a couple of examples:

1. Should the US have stayed out of WWII? If so, how do you justify the idea of allowing Hitler to continue? If not, what do you believe was the (appropriate) reason for being involved?

2. Do you feel that Saddam Hussein was someone worth removing from his position of power? He certainly did not harm us, just those in his own country (surely you’ve heard of the Kurds?) Or do you honestly believe that either (a) the lives of the Kurds were not worth the effort to save, or (b) that it was perfectly acceptable for him to kill them? If neither, on what basis do you believe that we had no reason to intervene?

3. Given that much / most of the Muslim world’s stated intention is to eliminate Israel as an existing nation, do you believe it would be right or wrong to intervene should Iraq, say, invade Israel? If so, please reconcile your position, as Israel has little “national defense” significance to the US, since an attach on our borders cannot be launched directly from Israel. Also explain why the nation of Israel – as well as it’s citizens – are of so little importance that you feel it justified to let them be overrun and killed.

I’d like to also address a couple of other points you made:

1. “Stealing people’s money is wrong.” Obviously; so is killing people without justification. Was Saddam justified in killing the Kurds? (If you’re talking about taxes, by the way, feel sorry for you if you can’t see the difference between taxation and theft. As a conservative, I believe that taxes are justifiable – as long as they are NOT excessive. This is the problem I have with Obama and most of Congress – they believe taxes should be higher than I believe they should be. I agree with Reagan, who said, “That government which governs least governs best,” not (as your argument would suggest) “that government governs best which governs not at all.)

2. “Stealing people’s money to do charitable things is wrong.” Again, obviously. But again, are you referring to taxes? If so, what ‘charitable things’ do you intend? Preventing genocide? That does not come under any definition of “charity” that I know, although I does come under the definition of righteousness.

3. “Stealing people’s money to pay their children to fight and die in foreign wars is wrong.” Define “foreign war.” World War Two was a foreign war – not one battle outside a cowardly sneak attack was fought on American soil. Was it wrong to work to stop Hitler? That is the CLEAR, UNMISTAKEABLE implication of your statement. Also, again, are you talking about taxes when you mention ‘stealing’? I thought you would follow Ron Paul’s, and agree that taxation for national defense was appropriate. Why be inconsistent? If there is no justification for being involved in preventing or stopping wars of foreign aggression, there could be no justification for US involvement in WWII unless and until Germany invaded us (I’m not speaking of Japan, as they did attack us, and I assume even Ron Paul would agree that responding would fall under the purview of ‘national defense’).

3. (Should be 4, but I’ll use your numbering system) : “The poor will always be with us.” Again, obviously. But that specific argument is a bit of a non-sequitor. After all, if the poor will always be with us, why should the church (or other non-governmental charitable organizations) help with relief efforts? The difference, which your argument fails to take into account, is that the way welfare is currently done removes personal responsibility for one’s actions, and produces no incentive to change one’s situation. Last, but not least, care for the poor is one of the specific commands God gave the church. But this has nothing do do with the discussion at hand; I can agree with Ron Paul’s position on this issue, while still maintaining that he’s 100% wrong on the use of the military.

4. “Evil will be with us until Jesus Christ Himself returns.” Again, obviously. How does this justifiy taking a passive stand in the face of it?

By the way, interesting comment that “It’s almost seems like many Christians today have not actually read the Bible.” I totally agree; on the other hand, as a Christian, pastor, professional theologian, and biblical scholar, let me just say – not everyone agrees with the belief that since we can’t win the war until Christ comes back, we should never get involved in the battle.

psrch on August 15, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Over at National Review, Derbyshire brings up the key point Paul’s critics need to answer:
I’d like to ask a question of the anti-Paulists. Here’s the question: Why are you so outraged by his assertion, in last Thursday night’s debate, that if the Iranians want to develop nuclear weapons, we should go ahead and let them?

It seems clear to me that given Iran’s resources (and Chinese and Russian duplicity), any system of sanctions would leak like a sieve — as, in fact, pretty much all systems of sanctions against unpopular nations always have. The only way to prevent Iran from going nuclear if she wants to is therefore by military action. In fact, since one-off strikes would have uncertain effect, the only true way would be full-scale military invasion and long-term occupation.

Which Republican candidate advocates such a course of action?

If the answer is “None” (which of course it is), then what, in effect, is the difference between Dr. Paul’s Iran policy and that of Romney, Bachmann, Perry, and the rest?

If no U.S. leader or potential leader is willing to do the one thing sure to kill Iran’s nuclear ambitions, then how is it eccentric, much less worthy of mockery, for Dr. Paul to say we should leave them to it and rely on deterrence?
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/274681/appalled-paul-john-derbyshire

I’d like to know Col. West’s answer to this question, myself.

Inkblots on August 15, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Our soldiers are volunteers, not mercenaries, but they are being treated like employees, not patriots, or more than soldiers’ families would be welcoming them home.

entagor on August 15, 2011 at 6:58 PM

I agree with everything you wrote except this. I believe that if military service was totally voluntary, then many fewer people would volunteer unless there was an actual, imminent threat to our families, neighbors and land. Now, I do believe that soldiers should be compensated, but I think there has to be a way to balance true voluntary service with compensation.

I know many young men who see military service as a paycheck or a way to pay for college education, period. They never think they’ll see battle and their parents never do either, until their son is killed.

I totally agree; on the other hand, as a Christian, pastor, professional theologian, and biblical scholar, let me just say – not everyone agrees with the belief that since we can’t win the war until Christ comes back, we should never get involved in the battle.

psrch on August 15, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I didn’t say we should never get involved in a battle. Jesus said we should count the costs.

Today, many people simply do not care to, or do not have to count the costs of their choices.

1. Should the US have stayed out of WWII? If so, how do you justify the idea of allowing Hitler to continue? If not, what do you believe was the (appropriate) reason for being involved?

Correct me if I am wrong, but we did stay out of WW2, all while Jews were being killed, until Japan bombed us. Then we got involved and destroyed Japan and her ally, Germany, and Italy.

All of your other points simply refer to matters of degree. There is a difference between what we should do and what we can do. Even Jesus himself didn’t heal everyone He met, or feed everyone He met. Even Jesus didn’t destroy all His enemies.

Have you sold all of your possession to feed the hungry, or clothe the poor? Should all Christians sell all of their possessions to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Most pastors I know will quickly point out that we are not all called to sell all of our possessions to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.

But, when it comes to foreign wars, it seems that many pastors think there should be not limit to the money to tax from the people and spend to kill other people over seas.

I think we should have to count the cost, but more importantly, the American people should could the cost and decide if they are willing to pay the cost to continue these wars, whether they are just or not.

I believe that Christians should do what they can for who they can up to the point that they are comfortable doing it. I believe that as Christians mature, that point moves and we are willing to give more for less.

But my individual call to charity and compassion has no correlation to the State’s purpose of warfare. You know, everyone always brings up WW2 and Hitler, but you know what wars people don’t talk about – WW1, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all the little skirmishes in all the none descript countries in between – the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, Soviet and Afghan war, the Spanish American War, the War of 1812, etc. etc. back and back and back.

Now, since Israel is our ally, our nation should be prepared to go to war when if and when Israel is invaded, just like we should be prepared to fight along side any of our allies. But, this call to arms against everyone who wants to invade Israel is just a call to continuous war and death until Christ returns, just like He said, in His Book.

j_galt on August 15, 2011 at 8:26 PM

psrch on August 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM
BigAlSouth on August 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Yes, drink the koolaid guys. You’ve bought in to the propaganda of fear. You are what Stalin called “useful idiots”. We have the most militaristic country in the history of the world and we routinely meddle in the affairs of other countries. We are not the police of the world and have no business acting as if we are. Both of you would sing another tune if a foreign country were to put a military base here or try to influence our elections,overthrow our government or do any of the other crap the US pulls all the time with other countries. But that’s okay. Keep your blinders on and help bring about another 9/11.

I don’t agree with everything Paul says, but he is right about our foreign policy. He is wrong about Bin Laden. Anyone who attacks us should be annihilated, but that is a defensive operation, not a war of aggression.

Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan were never threats to us. The Taliban never attacked us until we attacked them in their homeland. The US military/industrial sector uses fear to sell “security”. It is all a big lie.

woodNfish on August 15, 2011 at 8:40 PM

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